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HOME FROM ASIA, HALF AWAKE, AND HEADLONG INTO PEARLS!

HOME FROM ASIA, HALF AWAKE, AND HEADLONG INTO PEARLS!
We enjoyed lovely weather in Tokyo for a few days, even managed to take in an antiques market where I became obsessed with these old pairs of shells, delicately painted on the inside. From what I understand they were used in a sort of memory game played by Japanese nobility (before, the internet, when people had SO much more patience). There would be a hundred or so pairs on the table and the player would identify the subtle changes in color of the top of the shell and it’s shape, checking to see if it was a perfect match by it’s fit and matching painting inside. We strolled through some beautiful parks, and before long we were on our way to Hong Kong through blue skies with a gorgeous clear view of Mt. Fuji!
Hong Kong was far from relaxing, but always fun and full of inspiration just the same. I shopped my eyes crossed for days on end. Night and day… Hong Kong is buzzing.. it never ends! I was too busy to take photos of pearls but I promise little by little they will all make their debut in front of the camera.

So here is a sneak peek into our whirlwind of uploads in preparation for our upcoming sale. I’m really excited about this season, we have so many great pearls to work with and a FANTASTIC TEAM OF SUPERHEROES HERE.. enjoying the music and creativity and laughter.. Thank you and stay tuned!

(p.s. if you haven’t done so already , make sure to sign up for the newsletters to receive the coupon code and dates for our sales.)

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THANKSGIVING SHOW !

THANKSGIVING SHOW !
We will exhibiting as PACIFIC PEARLS in the “trade room” at the Intergem Show
San Mateo County Expo Center
Friday, 28 Nov 2014 noon to 6pm
Saturday, 29 Nov 10am to 6pm
Sunday, 30 Nov 11am to 5pm,
in the wholesale section (booth numbers vary).
We hope to see you there! Sarah and Fuji.
(please bring cookies and fresh fruit, in exchange for a rendition of my favorite joke, and deep discounts on pearls)

We have new tassel earrings!

Rare pearls from Mexico’s only pearl farm in the Sea of Cortez,

gold rings with unusual pearls,

great gift necklaces,
great gift necklaces you should keep for yourself, 

lots of new sterling silver one of a kind rings, and more pearly wonders to be thankful for.

 

 

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RUCKUS 2014 - Panel Discussion and Interview with Sarah Canizzaro

 

 

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Pearls from farm to YOU!

Pearls from farm to YOU!
This year’s 5th Annual Pearl-Guide Ruckus was the biggest and best yet! Over 30 pearl enthusiasts came from all over the county. We spent the weekend in a mansion on the cliffs of Palos Verdes, talking about pearls, listening to presentations, eating amazing food, admiring the view, giggling in the pool, and talking more about pearls. All the thanks for this weekend go to Jeremy and Hisano Shepherd of Pearl Paradise, and their amazing team. This year we focused on pearls and the environment… it was a joy both to listen and learn, and to be in the presence of people who genuinely value sustainable in pearl production.

I was honored to be a part of a panel discussion on pearls at this year’s annual Pearl Ruckus, hosted by the generous Pearl Paradise crew. Myself,  Jeremy Shepherd of PearlParadise.com , Josh Humbert of Kamokapearls.com , Douglas McLaurin of www.perlas.com.mx/en/ .

Blaire Beavers, a true pearl expert, gave a wonderful presentation on pearls with a focus on nacre growth and, of course, an amazing array of pearl photos she has taken over her career in the gem industry.
Click the photo below to hear the presentation given by Douglas McLaurin of Mexico’s only pearl farm (the Sea of Cortez pearls we feature in our jewelry) about
“Pearls & the Environment.” IT’S FASCINATING! TRULY A MUST SEE!
From farm to table, to light box, to a Summer afternoon in the park, more than a half kilo of natural color Tahitian keshi pearls are ready to pick! Online now in necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Parcels like this do not come around very often and I was overjoyed to have the opportunity to work with them.
If you’re going to be in the area, please come visit us at the San Mateo County Event Center for the Gem Show – September 5th-7th.
We will be exhibiting as Pacific Pearls in the Trade Room.
The hours are: Friday 12-6 / Saturday 10-6 / Sunday 11-5
For more information: http://www.intergem.com/shows/upcoming-shows/san-mateo-ca-september-5-7
If you are traveling to the San Francisco Bay Area, please feel free to make an appointment to meet us and view our pearls at our downtown San Rafael studio.

Thank you all for your continued support and appreciation of our ever-evolving world of pearls.

With warmest regards,

Sarah Canizzaro and the Kojimapearl team.

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SUMMER IN FULL BLOOM

SUMMER IN FULL BLOOM

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying our garden and especially  the extra tourists a bird bath has attracted.

Our studio has also been a buzz of activity.. With several visitors stopping by to pick out their favorites. It’s such a treat to meet people in person after communicating with them online. I love putting faces and styles to names. I love that each lady (and occasionally a gentleman) brings with them a new story of what they do and what drew them to love pearls. I find that it’s often an auntie or mother who passed down the love of pearls and it feels great to keep the tradition alive and honor their memory at the same time.

Whilst enjoying this special place we call home.. I missed the show in Hong Kong last month.. But thankfully there were a lot of photos and videos taken of a very exciting forum of many of my pearl friends talking about sustainable pearl farming.

Here’s a link to Josh Humbert of Kamoka pearls giving his talk. He admitted he was nervous.. Not sure why, his family has been farming pearls on Ahe French Polynesia using only solar and wind power all the using farming techniques that help restore a beneficial balance to this diverse tropical ecosystem.. For decades!   http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=qog8fC62bzQ

Douglas McLaurin of the Sea of Cortez pearl farm, probably my favorite blogger about pearls also spoke, please check out what he wrote about his time in Hong Kong.   http://www.perlas.com.mx/blog/

My only regret about this forum, besides missing it myself, was that our friends, the farmers of the luscious Japan Kasumi  pearls were not a part of the panel. Having persevered great hurdles, and brought the world organically grown fresh water pearls of superb quality, grown with the utmost care.. I hope to convince them to join in for the next forum.. and share with the world their special craft. It would be an especially important addition as most of the fresh water pearls of the world are grown in China and we know precious little about the environmental impact of this HUGE scale farming.

We here at Kojima and Pacific Pearls have long said: “Pearls are the canaries of their environment , without clean water.. There are no pearls”. It is one of our greatest joys to be working with farmers like these who are FINALLY being recognized for their environmental consciousness, and hard work!

 

PEARLS ARE THE ONLY THING IN THE JEWELRY BUSINESS THAT IS ACTUALLY GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT ! 

We’re very much looking forward to seeing these two farmers  and 30+ pearl enthusiasts as we will gather in Palos Verdes at the ever generous invitation of Jeremy and Hisano Shepherd of Pearl Paradise for the annual Pearl Ruckus. This year’s Ruckus is set to be the biggest yet.. and I can’t wait to meet all the new people and see the treasures they bring to share. We will be bringing new pearls to share with the group who gather from far and wide.

In the mean time.. We’re feverishly trying to upload a bunch of new jewelry pieces we’ve been working on and many new pearly delights. Here are few photos of our latest acquisitions. Enjoy!

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ALL THE PEARL NEWS TO DATE

ALL THE PEARL NEWS TO DATE
Writing this slowly on a lazy Sunday morning here in Kowloon Hong Kong, before the Jewelry show starts tomorrow and the week of pearl shopping takes over my whole attention span. It’s been too long since I have updated this blog. Sometimes the pearl rolls so fast!
The December holiday sale, kept us more than a little busy, our strongest sale yet, with great reviews from online customers near and far… Thank you to all of you who shared the link for our sale with your friends.
January brought with it some much needed downtime and even a little vacation on the gorgeous north coast of California.
 
In January we were asked to estimate the value of a Quahog pearl for the local ABC station in Rhode Island : here is the link to our 20 seconds of fame!  http://ww.abc6.com/story/24521553/man-finds-pearl-while-eating-quahog  For the record… people who have found natural pearls usually have a fantastic imagination of the millions of dollars they are worth. If you quote a price between $800-$2000… all they hear is $2000! I did really enjoy watching the clip of Robert Morris, he has a great sense of humor.

 

The weeks leading up to our show in Tucson are always an exciting time. Full of planning and inspiration. We made a lot of news pieces for the show in Tucson, and the show was great. (even busier than last year) Overjoyed to see many old customers and to meet new ones as well. The highlights of the Tucson show for me were: having dinner with my friends of the Pearl-Guide world. Thank you to Jeremy and Hisano for once again hosting an elegant affair. This year the dinner was extra fun because it just so happened I was seated in the middle of a pearl farming information showdown! Jacques Branellec Jr.  of Jewelmer (fabulous golden South Sea pearl farmers from the Philipines … famous for their magnificent colors and quality) and Douglas and Enrique of the Sea of Cortez pearl farm in Guayamas Mexico (Mexico’s only pearl farm, producing incredible gems in the rainbow lipped oyster).  It was a Star Wars style laser battle of highly technical pearl farming biology and techniques… an epic friendly battle between attempting to “outwit” nature and being its adoring martyr. The other pearl luminaries I was honored to be seated with kept a healthy conversation, and the group .. at the behest of Elisabeth Strack spoke openly about having an International Pearl Culture Conference. A meeting similar to that of the Aqua Culture Conference in Hawaii in 1995, where information is freely shared and the event is held in the spirit of unity as opposed to overt advertising.  I am VERY much looking forward to this conference and hope that it will be soon! I always admire Elisabeth in any gathering, she is such a learned person, and an elegant woman with the most amazing listening skills. I aspire to be such a good listener! It was an amazing dinner, I learned more in a couple of hours than I had in years. As always we had a great time on the “Pearl Walk” with Lois Berger and her band of “pearl watchdogs”. I learned about a new technique of inserting a sponge like expanding nucleus into a  pearl oyster and allowing it to soak up the water and stretch the pearl sac, so that the second graft will produce a larger pearl. This method is creating some gigantic Tahitian baroque pearls … They have soft edges and resemble huge fresh water 2nd harvest pearls in shape. I also had the pleasure to chat with Gina Latendresse of American Pearl Company  . I received a great parcel of beautiful natural American fresh water pearls from her that I will be posting on the website in the coming weeks.

With only 9 days between getting home from Tucson and leaving for Asia on a pearl buying trip… I barely had enough time to unpack, get a cold, have a birthday, fill the orders from Tucson, sleep and pack again… but by the grace of pearl fairies everywhere we made the flight! Tokyo is always fun, bright lights, quirky and  polite people,  and fantastic food. On our second day in Japan, we went to see our dear friends, the farmers at Lake Kasumi ga Ura. We spent the day with them, talking about their latest harvest, drinking tea and of course looking at pearls.  Please stay tuned in the coming weeks for the addition of new Japan Kasumi pearls to our website. We had a lovely mini vacation in Japan.  We accompanied Fuji to his childhood home in Miyanoshita Japan. We visited the shop where the original Pacific Pearls store was in the 1950’s. We visited the Fujiya hotel where Fuji and his sister Aloha were frequent visitors at the heated pool as children… and we visited Lake Ashi where Fuji’s father Rudolf was an avid swimmer. We spent a wonderful time at a hot springs in Hakone … with a view of Mt. Fuji from the pools! WOW what a magical experience, to sit in a natural hot spring with snow on the ground and Mt. Fuji in the distance. We were very lucky to have this view despite the winter weather.

All of this leads up to being in Hong Kong , my home away from home. Looking out at the view of the Central sky line and waiting waiting waiting for the show to open tomorrow. I will spend the afternoon on Mui Wo with my old friend… saving money by NOT shopping for clothes 
 With thanks and the promise to post more photos of pearls soon. Sincerely, Sarah
 
Stay tuned for our upcoming sale! If you haven’t done so already please sign up for the newsletter to receive the coupon code before it’s posted elsewhere.
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HANDMADE PEARL BROOCHES ARE BACK

HANDMADE PEARL BROOCHES ARE BACK

These lovely handmade brooches are made by the wife of one of our pearl suppliers in Hong Kong… she is a magical, happy woman with a fantastic smile. These brooches sell out everytime we get them. This time I chose JUST this many. If  you are interested in one or more, send me an email and tell me which one is your favorite. The price is $65 each. They are backed with base metal… and each natural color Chinese fresh water pearl is hand woven onto the base. An elegant addition to a minimalist dress or shawl…. they make GREAT gifts!

 

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Almost home!

Almost home!
Well my pearl hunting trip to Japan and Hong Kong isn’t quite over yet as I’m writing this from an airport layover but what a perfect time to show you all some photos of my adventures and give you an idea of what putting pearls in your hands entails.
Our 60 hours in Japan went by so quickly that I can barely remember it now.. But we did have a great soba noodle meeting with the farmers from Lake Kasumi ga Ura (Japan’s ONLY fresh water pearl production). There was a lot of giggling as per usual and of course lots of talk of the current state if the fresh water pearl market. These guys are true gems and it is our honor to carry their magical pearls.. Gifts from “the body of water beyond the mist”. On this occasion I was able to purchase a lot of Kasumi Keshi pearls! They are not big, most of them are not perfect.. And I know that the look will not appeal to most… But for those of you who are avid pearl collectors and understand the rarity of a strand (or rope) of natural color Japan Kasumi Keshi .. Then please find the sneak peek photos below .. I spent ALL day on Sunday painstakingly sorting these into quality and color mix pieces.. ( and for anyone who wonders if these are Chinese pearls.. Rest assured I could think of a thousand other things to do with my entire Sunday.
These are guaranteed Keshi pearls from Japan’s Lake Kasumi ga Ura… And what you see in the stringing board is the collection of one farmer over a decade!

When we landed in Hong Kong … This was the forecast.

And this was the view from the ferry coming home from visiting a friend in an outlying island.

So we splished and splashed from one office to the next trying to see as many pearls as we could before the Hong Kong show started. Most of my days were spent like this.. Making pairs and sorting through thousands upon thousands of pearls to find the most beautiful and unusual ones I could.

Fujis sister Aloha was in town from Bangkok and it was a joy to accompany her to the Hong Kong show as she has been in the pearl business for her entire life and is also a GREAT designer… So fun to have shopping buddies and teachers. It had been so long since i last went to the Hong Kong Jewelry show, I had forgotten how much fun it is! Here is a photo of her wearing our simple drop earrings , so complimentary with her elegant purple blouse!

The weather cleared just before the show began and these are photos from the roof of our building in Tsim Sha Tsui.

My favorite place to escape the hustle and bustle of a city with 7 million people!

The show was fantastic! I really enjoyed seeing so many old and new friends and shopping for pearls and other jewels for three long days!
Here are JUST A FEW of my favorite finds. I will of course post them all on the website little by little upon returning home.

 

AND as an added bonus.. Whilst I was away.. our team at home produced some very tasty pearl rings in our studio in downtown San Rafael.

These are simply warming my heart right now!

So the time has come to board the plane and say goodbye to the balmy days of Asia for a few months..

Thank you all for supporting what I do.. there is magic in it all. 

 

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the TUCSON SHOW in a pearl shell …..

the TUCSON SHOW in a pearl shell …..

Every  year, the show in Tucson is a buzz of frenzied work and inspiration. It is one of the few times of the year that I am graced with the presence of so many pearl experts and enthusiasts. This year was no exception. Our booth was busier than it has been in years. Many old friends and customers who hadn’t made it for the last few years, returned to our booth … and it was a joy to see them excited about the pearls. Ready to go home and thrill their customers. One of my greatest pleasures is feeling like the special care we pay to choosing both beautiful and unusual pearls echos throughout the world born into one of a kind creations by some of the most talented and kind people in the business.

We flew from San Francisco on a crystal clear morning … looking forward to the fun!

After a quick birthday lunch celebration for Fuji , we settled in and finally finished pricing all the pearls.

 Ready for the great show ahead!

For one golden morning we get to sneak out of the booth and meet with a fantastic group of pearl professionals for a walk and talk around the AGTA show. This walk is organized by the powerhouse appraiser known as Lois Berger. 

Lois Berger the world’s most determined pearl grader!

Cute as a button and stronger than most people I know put together~!

Gina Latendresse of the American Pearl Company  showing us all some of her interesting beauties.   http://www.americanpearlcompany.com/our_company/  Gina is a second generation pearl dealer specializing in American Cultured Pearls as well natural pearls from all over the world. (She can also do handstands and flips) Needless to say , she’s a pearl heroine of mine! The history of their family in the pearl industry is most incredible.

The best night out was spent with new and old friends from Pearl-Guide . Thank you very much to Jeremy and Hisano for organizing and hosting such a lovely dinner. I wish I had better photos of it to share! Such a fantastic group of people. I was blessed to have been there. Thank you to Elizabeth Strack and Lois Berger for keeping me entertained with fantastic stories and hilarious bits of women’s wisdom. True pearls, those two!
The relatively short 6 day show at the GJX  is great! Just before jumping on the plane to fly home. I made the annual stop at the Gem Mall to see the work of my dear friend Lou Zeldis. As many of you know Lou passed away in 2012 and left an incredible collection of original art. His dear friend Liz Marx took the reigns and kept the booth open in his honor. She is a true friend  with a superhuman heart.

If you knew Lou, please visit the facebook page created in his spirit.

Now it’s back to work, details details details… and pearls galore! Thank you for your patience, to all of you who have been waiting for responses and custom orders. I hope this photo montage will help you to see what a pearl whirlwind looks like!

Cheers, Sarah

 

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WHERE IN THE WORLD IS KOJIMAPEARL?

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS KOJIMAPEARL?
After our June Shows
We flew to Japan.

The protective ninjas we always travel with are

handmade by the amazing Aki Morishima.

From Tokyo , we rode the train to see our dear pearl farmer friends at 

Lake Kasumi ga Ura.

Next I spent two wonderful days in Kinugawa with my best friend, such a relaxing and much needed mini vacation.

And then we were off to Hong Kong for more pearl shopping and family time.

Directly following our time in Asia, I was super happy to join my fellow Pearl-Guide members in Malibu for a wonderful weekend of learning, sharing and laughing. As always , in gratitude to Jeremy Shepherd and Hisano Takei and all the people who make this my best pearl weekend each year ! I had so much fun this year, I forgot to take more photos. The pool was just too nice!

 

 

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